There are probably few feelings worse in life than standing in a confined, stinking plastic box, attempting to answer the call of nature whilst simultaneously trying to avoid dysentry, when the sound of an MC saying “Ladies and gentleman, please welcome to the stage…Broken Records!” floats from the stage, some hundred yards away, to your ears. You are then faced with a dilemma – to arrest mid-act and risk having to carry a pair of piss-stained jeans to Germany and back, or to take the extra minute to finish up, which will necessitate a sprint to the stage doing up your trousers, to the amusement of the backstage crew, as Ian and Rory play the loop at the start of Nearly Home over and over again on an otherwise empty stage. I opt for the latter.
As it has been several weeks since my last confession, and I have jumped ahead of myself somewhat, I will go back to the beginning with our trip up to Belladrum the preceding Friday. We were on the main stage this year which has a really nice setting, and there was a good crowd out for a Friday late afternoon too. The rain held off until we were just about finished packing the van after our set, so we ran to the catering tent for a bit of dinner, and indeed Davey “Two Meals” Smith managed to have, aptly, two meals. I went for one meal and two cakes as I have some sense of decency (and two cakes goes very well with two coffees), then we headed homewards for a Saturday of doing laundry and sleeping.
Festival Survival Tip #6 – You get more “bang for your buck” if you get down with the lentil brigade.
Sunday saw us heading south to The Big Chill, in glorious sunshine. We unloaded the van a few miles from the stage (that may be a slight exaggeration) and myself and Kas sat with the gear to wait for a trailer. Some hours later (that may be a slight exaggeration), a trailer arrived and we drove round to the stage, past the enormous abandoned tower of Vitamin Water(TM), and having only injured one or two suicidal pedestrians on the way. Once everything was in order I went off for a vegan burger (see Tip #6 above) and caught up with some friends while working on my “Scotsman’s Tan” (deep red). This brings us neatly round to the opening paragraph, when a few of us got caught out by an enthuasiastic clock, but having arrived sheepishly on stage we went on to play an enjoyable set. It took quite a while afterwards to get all the kit back to the appropriate loading point so we hung around backstage looking forlorn until they gave us some more free beer, then set off for the delights of the Travelodge (I think – I really need to start keeping a diary. Maybe we slept in the van. Who knows? Who even cares?).